Protests against Whitaker takeover of Trump-Russia probe are slated at 5 p.m. today, including Ramona’s Collier Park and federal courthouse downtown
By Miriam Raftery
November 8, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Critics are accusing President Donald Trump of obstructing justice after the President forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Washington Post reports. The removal of Sessions shits oversight of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion to Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.
Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the special counsel probe due to conflict of interest laws, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge. But with Sessions gone, Whittaker is now in charge of the investigation that he has long criticized.
Some fear Whitaker could fire Mueller outright or take other steps to impede the investigation, such as barring Trump from being questioned under oath.
Whitaker has made clear that he will not recuse himself despite publishing multiple opinion pieces he wrote criticizing the Mueller investigation in the past. In August 2017, he even suggested that a replacement for Sessions might reduce Mueller’s budget “so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”
The timing of Trump’s actions are particularly suspect given reports today in major media that Mueller is in the process of writing his final report – a report that could potentially lead to indictments of Trump and/or members of his family including his son, Donald Trump Jr. and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner over their involvement with Russians seeking to influence the outcome of the elections.
Mueller’s mandate gives him broad latitude to further investigate all crimes discovered in the course of the investigation, potentially including financial crimes involving the Trumps.
Numerous members of Trump’s campaign and cabinet and others have already been indicted in the Mueller probe including several Trump allies who have pled guilty to felony crimes.
A group called Nobody is Above the Law is organizing nationwide protests at 5 p.m. today to protest these actions, with four planned in San Diego County including downtown at the federal courthouse (333 W. Broadway), Ramona’s Collier in East County, Westfield North County Mall and Carlsbad Premium Outlets in North County.
Concerned citizens are also asked to contact members of Congress and ask them to pass legislation to protect Robert Mueller.
Those critical of the President note that President Richard Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment after the “Saturday night massacre” in which he attempted to obstruct justice with similar firings to impede the Watergate investigation.
Trump's only criticism of Sessions has been Sessions recusal from oversight of Mueller, a decision Sessions was required to make by law, making the President's demand for Sessions' resignation even more suspect.